Your First Fake Book (Fake Books) Paperback – 25 May 2013
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From the Author
102 songs, all in C, with easy chords and large print
Your First Fake Book is a collection of 102 well loved popular, jazz and rock songs, in a format made eminently playable for the beginning music student. Each song has the melody notes (piano right hand) plus chord symbols showing how to improvise or "fake" an accompaniment. Fake books have been available commercially for about a decade. Although there are now many fake books on the market, some containing as many as 1200 songs, most are still geared to experienced players. The print is usually small, rhythms complex, and the use of many different keys requires substantial knowledge of music theory and reading. In Your First Fake Book, special care has been taken to make playing as easy as possible. Melodies have been simplified, the number of chords needed has been reduced to a minimum, and rhythms have been reduced to what anyone with a few months of study will know. The print is large, and the songs are laid out to emphasize their simplicity. Despite its simplicity, the look and feel of the book is completely adult, in contrast to the many "easy play" and "big note" editions that are geared to children.
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That said, some of the chords are overly simplified and produce some real clunking harmonies. You will find yourself altering some of the basic chords in order to get the sound you want. For example, "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" features a C chord several times going against a melody F. For some students, I have to tell them to play a C only in the left hand, not the full chord. For more advanced students, we change the C chord to a D diminished, which leads into a discussion of the use of diminished chords.
With these reservations, I still highly recommend this book since you or your students will find many songs that are easily played and enjoyed.